West Geauga Dominant on Homecoming
October 6, 2021 by Jason Baxter

Finally home for the first time in four games, West Geauga welcomed back a large homecoming crowd with a dominant first half that led to a 62-0 win over Orange in Chagrin Valley Conference Chagrin Division action.

Game photos click here.

Finally home for the first time in four games, West Geauga welcomed back a large homecoming crowd with a dominant first half that led to a 62-0 win over Orange in Chagrin Valley Conference Chagrin Division action.

The Wolverines last played at home Aug. 27.

In this weird era of COVID, I don’t care where we play — I’ll play in a parking lot, I don’t care — as long as we’re playing football,” West Geauga Head Coach Eric Sopkovich said. “That is the mentality our kids take. It’s special with homecoming, get the festivities going. As long as their football is being played, I’m there.”

The Wolverines improved to 5-2 on the season. They have now won four of five games, three straight, and six of eight games over Orange.

The team’s 62 points on the night were the most since 2003, when the Wolverines scored 63 points in a win against Orange. The school record is 69 points, set back in 1950.

It seemed the game was decided early as the Wolverines scored 31 first quarter points, mostly thanks to the passing and running of senior quarterback Danny Stewart. Stewart started the game finding senior wide receiver Chris Ranallo from 40 yards. He then found the end zone on a five-yard scamper to make the score 14-0 very quickly.

Kicker Joey DiLalla connected on a 40-yard field goal to give West Geauga a 17-0 lead. He also added another field goal later in the game.

DiLalla, one of the top kickers in the area, finished the night with 14 points — the second game he had scored so many this season. He also now totals eight field goals on the season.

The next Orange possession saw a forced fumble by Austin Pascoe and recovery by Ryan Dienes. This would lead 10 seconds later to Ty Boze, who was named homecoming king earlier in the night, scoring on a 37-yard touchdown run to make it 24-0 with 4:07 remaining in the first quarter.

Danny was that guy tonight. He is always that guy,” Boze said. “He came out here tonight and put on a show for the fans.”

Stewart, who didn’t play in the second half, finished the game with 278 total yards, including 141 passing yards on four completions (three touchdowns) and 131 rushing yards, along with the four touchdowns he accounted for.

He ended the first quarter finding Ranallo again on a 41-yard connection. Stewart then led the Wolverines on a scoring drive to start the second quarter that included a 67-yard run to set up a touchdown pass to his favorite target, senior wide receiver Torry Stazzone.

That touchdown gave West Geauga a 38-0 lead with 8:37 left in the first half.

Tip my hat off to the offensive line: Danny Stewart played a great game, Ty (Boze), most of our seniors scored tonight, it was a collective effort,” Sopkovich said. “(Offensive coordinator) Adam Lowther has done a great job this year. Having a game like this on homecoming is special for the boys.”

Stazzone finished the night with two completions for 60 yards, while Ranallo’s two completions, both for touchdowns, gave him 81 yards receiving on the night.

Boze scored another touchdown on a 45-yard run to finish off the first-half scoring for the Wolverines. West Geauga led 45-0 at halftime.

We were definitely firing on all cylinders,” Stewart said. “Everything our coach called and everything I saw and adjusted the play, we executed. When all 11 guys execute on the field, that is just the result.”

West Geauga played mostly reserves in the second half, when senior Michael Cavasinni completed a 20-yard touchdown reception from backup quarterback Travis Velba. In the fourth quarter, junior quarterback Nathan Mikonsky found Andrew Marino for a touchdown to cap the Wolverine scoring on the night.

With all of the offensive success for the Wolverines, the defense also had their third shutout of the season. They’re giving up only a little over seven points per game.

Sopkovich credited defensive coordinator Scott Larrick for the week’s perfect defensive plan.

We worked hard on it,” Sopkovich said. “We played a lot of man, we pressured a lot, we saw some things on film that I thought were able to do. The guys performed for us. Defense has been leading our team all year. It was nice to get a goose egg!”

West Geauga travels again to take on Geneva next week. The Wolverines defeated the Eagles (28-0) earlier in the season after games were cancelled for both teams due to COVID.